Anna Pikovsky Auerbach, Vice President of Strategy and Special Projects for the Moonridge Group, is passionate about creating social change. Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Auerbach moved to the United States with her family as refugees. Her background instilled a drive to pursue an advanced education, and influenced her career choices. It is this combination of a business approach along with understanding the mindset of philanthropy, that has led to her success in the nonprofit sector.

(Photo Courtesy of Anna Pikovsky Auerbach)

(Photo Courtesy of Anna Pikovsky Auerbach)

Auerbach has worked with organizations in health, education, arts and social welfare. She has been involved at leadership levels at The Juilliard School, The New York Foundation for the Arts and The Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation. The Moonridge Group brings corporations, individuals and foundations together to achieve philanthropic goals. Auerbach works very closely with clients – guiding and facilitating their strategic thinking, collaboration with others, efficient use of resources, and technique for measuring results.

Auerbach obtained her degree Magna Cum Laude in economics and psychology from Brandeis University, and her M.B.A. with honors at Harvard Business School.

“Originally I planned on majoring in psychology. It was my parents who urged me to go for a dual major,” she said. “However, I use my knowledge gained from studying psychology every day. I am always seeing how I can read people, what is happening in the room, how clients deal with challenges with an organization and how receptive they will be to certain plans.”

Auerbach’s M.B.A. has also been a great benefit for her career, “bringing a different approach, structure and a fresh perspective.”

She would encourage others to consider combining business with psychology with a career in the nonprofit sector. According to Auerbach, pursuing a higher degree develops one as a person. “When you go for a graduate degree, you can really hone in on what your interests are. After living a few years as an adult, you can figure out what your passion is and what you want to do with your life. You will get so much more when you pursue an advanced degree.”

Debbie Hall is practically a Las Vegas native (34 years and counting) and loves experiencing everything in Southern Nevada from the Las Vegas Strip to the surrounding mountains and Lake Mead. She also teaches at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and loves sharing her knowledge. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.